17th November

Rain and a northerly breeze were trying conditions for the few birders in the field but were just right for dropping another succession of new arrivals; however, the chief surprise of the day wasn't actually a newcomer but the reappearance of the very mobile and flighty Hoopoe in Weston Street/Coombefield Quarry area. The newcomers were mainly thrushes, with 50 Blackbirds, 40 each of Redwing and Song Thrush, and 13 Fieldfares at the Bill alone; Chaffinches were also trickling through at a similar rate, 2 Blackcaps at Southwell and a Golden Plover over Watery Lane were of note, whilst ringing efforts revealed new singles of Chiffchaff and Goldcrest to add to the mix at the Obs. Other reports were the land were more likely to refer to lingerers, with at least 10 Black Redstarts scattered about, 3 Short-eared Owls still at the Bill and a Great Spotted Woodpecker again at Southwell. Sea news concerned 8 Great Northern Divers, 7 Shelduck, 5 Black-necked Grebes and 2 Common Scoter in Portland Harbour and 8 Red-throated Divers through off the Bill.

In conditions that didn't look at all promising there was surprise increase in immigrant moth variety/numbers, including 7 Rusty-dot Pearl, 2 Diamond-back Moth and singles of Dark Sword Grass, Pearly Underwing and Silver Y caught overnight at the Obs.


Hoopoe, Short-eared Owl, Blackcap and Great Spotted Woodpecker - Weston Street, Portland Bill and Southwell, 17th November 2014 © Martin Cade (Hoopoe and SEOwl) and Debby Saunders (Blackcap and GSWoodpecker)